The Met Gala’s ‘Gilded’ theme has been deemed ‘deaf’ amid economic struggles

let them eat cake

As Americans scrape pennies to pay for the rising cost of food and gas, Met Gala organizers have been criticized for celebrating over-the-top opulence.

This year’s gala, taking place tonight at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a ‘gilded glamor and white tie’ dress code, a nod to America’s era of prosperity.

The Golden Age—which took place between 1870 and 1900—marked a period of rapid economic expansion across the country, during which a small group of American families, including the Roosevelts, the Vanderbilts, and the Rockefellers, acquired outsized wealth.

But while the cashed-in elites flaunted their fortunes — with lavish homes, glamorous robes, and priceless Renaissance artworks — millions of commoners lived in abject poverty, struggling to make ends meet.

Now some critics have taken to Twitter, pointing to the problematic parallels between the Golden Age and our current context – marked not only by growing inequality but also by the highest rates of inflation in more than 40 years. At the same time, the US economy contracted 1.4% in the most recent quarter, the first contraction since the pandemic-related recession two years ago.

The Met Gala has been slammed for this year "Gilded Age" Theme intended to celebrate extreme wealth while the average American struggles amid the rising cost of living.
The Met Gala, helmed by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour (right), has been slammed for this year’s Gilded Age theme, designed to celebrate extreme wealth while the average American struggles amid the rising cost of living.
Getty
The Golden Age was one of extreme wealth and opulent fashion.  Pictured: Socialite Alva Vanderbilt, who was new to high society and wore extravagant dresses to be accepted by her peers.
The Golden Age was one of extreme wealth and opulent fashion. New to high society, socialite Alva Vanderbilt (pictured) wore extravagant dresses to be accepted by her peers.
Wiki Commons

“Am I the only one who thinks this year’s #MetGala theme is off the rails?” one raged. “Inequality is at its highest level since the Golden Age, a pandemic and economic meltdown have ruined us, inflation is out of control… but cool, let’s wear #GildedAge clothes and laugh at inequality.”

They added, “To be clear, I’m usually a huge fan. But this year’s theme is a slap in the face to the average American.”

Opulent: During the Golden Age, wealthy socialites chose to flaunt their wealth by wearing lavish robes like those pictured.  The garments are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Opulent: During the Golden Age, wealthy socialites chose to flaunt their wealth by wearing lavish robes like those pictured. The garments are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Getty Images
Lil Nas X in a gold cape at the Met Gala.
Going all out: Celebs have never shied away from going lavish and over the top at the infamous gala. Lil Nas X is pictured at the event last year.
Dimitrios Kambouris

In the meantime, another blown up: “I’m still not over how ill-advised and unmusical it is for the Met Gala to choose the golden age as its theme. Yes, there will be great fashion. no, that doesn’t make up for the nausea.”

One third interfered say the glittery gala’s theme “would piss people off”.

The Met Gala is organized and directed by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, although she wasn’t specifically singled out in any of the tweets.

Cardi B is pictured in an extravagant ensemble at the 2018 Met Gala.
Cardi B is pictured in an extravagant ensemble at the 2018 Met Gala.
AFP/Getty Images

Vogue’s official Met Gala live stream begins at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed across the magazine’s digital platforms, as well as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Vanessa Hudgens, La La Anthony and Vogue Editor at Hamish Bowles share hosting duties.

Celebrities are not ashamed to go all out at the annual party, donning flashy dresses and throwing in millions of dollars worth of diamonds.

While the full guest list for tonight’s event has been kept top secret, Page Six sources say Cardi B will attend in an expensive Versace gown. Others reportedly on the guest list include Katy Perry, Sydney Sweeney, Gigi Hadid and all five Kardashian sisters.

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